Commentary

Minus Execution, Shopping Is Emotionally Exhausting

I’m shopping around for a new vehicle and while I was online comparing quotes for auto insurance, I was reminded that when execution is lacking, it’s just one big frustrating disappointment.  

I entered my information into Insurance.com and got back five potential insurers, all of whom needed to be contacted directly. I started with the first on the list, which was Progressive. I’m a fan of comic spokesperson Flo, but the online quote experience was devoid of humor and left way too much room for improvement. 

Clicking through, and entering all the information I’d already provided yet again, including the specific vehicle identification number, I received a quote number and was directed to call an agent. I followed the instructions and the person on the other end did not speak English as their native tongue. 

I was ready to work with it, but had to repeat — yet again — all the information I had already entered into the system. 

Shouldn’t this already be there? The computer gave me a quote number. But no, nothing was recorded until a human actually put the information there.

GEICO gave me a quote without forcing me to phone in, so if I had, I don’t know what would have happened. I was too bored with the whole process to go any further down the list. Tomorrow is a new day.

In that light, I direct your attention to the first Emotional Experience Index, released by real-time intelligence solutions vendor Cogito Corp. 

One finding from its survey of call-center reps is that 89% find establishing personal rapport essential to achieving a desired outcome on a customer service call. And 93% believe their communication style impacts the customers’ perception of their brand. 

Yes, it is nice when you can understand what the rep is saying. 

Still, it’s not easy being a call-center rep, with 81% citing disrespect from the customer as their biggest challenge. 

More than three-quarters of consumers say they’d prefer to speak to a human being about complicated transactions. 

Over at The Temkin Group, meanwhile, their research showed that consumers who had positive emotional experiences when compared to those with negative experiences were: 

  • 15.1 times more likely to recommend the company
  • 8.4 times more likely to trust the company 
  • 7.8 times more likely to try new products and services 
  • 7.1 times more likely to purchase more from a company 
  • 6.6 times more likely to forgive a company after a mistake. 

Supermarkets and retailers ranked highest in the Temkin Group’s latest Consumer Benchmark Survey, with grocer Publix at the top.

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